Years back, one of my dear teachers & her husband who live in a cabin in upstate New York were going on a trip. She asked if me & my husband /at the time boyfriend would want to watch over their cats while they were away that weekend. We were thrilled to.
It was late fall & she mentioned that should we get cold to grab the extra blanket that’s in her closet in their bedroom. I remember it rained all weekend and it got quite chilly one evening. I went upstairs to her closet, a recessed part of their bedroom concealed by curtains. I drew the curtains and saw hanging before me in the closet: 3 dresses, 3 sweaters, 2 trousers and 2 blouses & a blanket folded on the side. Mouth agape I thought to myself – “Oh Man! This is what I want my practice to look like. Where I am content with what I need & not always more than I need.”
In Ch. 3 of the Bhagavad Gita there is a discussion on what prompts us into action in the world. Essentially desires motivate our actions in the world. Even the desire to live propels us into the action of getting out of bed. Desires motivate our work & motivate how we engage in the world.
Desires which shape our actions, are in themselves shaped by how we see ourselves. If we see ourselves only as that which is contained in this body, then our desires are continuously for this body, feeding this body, feeding the senses, adorning the body, feeding into how the body wants to see itself.
But if we have experienced ourselves not just as that which is contained in this shell, but as an awareness that expands through & beyond this shell, then our desires are no longer just for this body. This awareness, this Self-Knowledge, this experiencing the fullness of our true nature, renders us full, in a state of missing no thing, content, satisfied, free of agitations. By which our actions & motivations to act in the world are transformed.
Inspired by Swami Chinmayananda’s translation of The Bhagavad Gita.